Oscar Anton is a firm favourite here at TEEZ’ and it’s great to hear his sound develop as he continues to build a fanbase for himself. A new pack is out today with 3 titles including « Nuit d’été » the duo with his little sister Clementine. On the occasion of this new EP, we asked him few questions about his new releases and future projects as an independent artist.
Thanks to Oscar Anton
Merci à Matthieu
Interview : Thierry Jaussaud
Bonjour Oscar, thanks for taking the time to have a chat with TEEZ. What have you been up to?
Hey, thank you for having me ! Well, as everyone right know, in quarantine… Except that I might be a little more prepared as being locked up in a room all day is kind of familiar to me haha. I’m writing and producing at my parent’s house right now.
What kind of music did you listen to as a grown up ? Did your parents have any records they would always play around the house?
My parents made my sister and I listen to music all the time. Before going to school we weren’t allowed to watch TV, but we could pick a record of their collection instead while having breakfast. I think these are my first musical memories. I discovered Robbie Williams, The Police, Bob Marley, Coldplay … And probably a few french artists but mostly international music.
And what’s your musical background? When did you realise that making music was meant to be your life ?
I started studying music theory and piano when I was 7, at the Conservatory of Boulogne-Billancourt. For me, it was just a hobby at that time. But at 13, I quit the conservatory and learned how to play guitar by watching YouTube videos. I realised that I just had to play some random chords and add my own lyrics to make songs. Then I went to a Coldplay’s concert for my father’s birthday, and this was a life changing moment. I remember the crowd singing along with Chris on « Viva La Vida ». Knowing that THIS could be a job .. there was no way I would ever do something else.
Since the beginning of the year, you release a new EP every month. So how does your songwriting process typically work?
It’s a very different way of releasing music so I have to adapt the songwriting process. This project comes from the idea of being more spontaneous and push myself not to be afraid of trying things. I want to write more and more, and hopefully get better along the way. So the process is literally me being in my bedroom everyday, listening to a lot of music, making a hundred beats, and sometimes being really excited about one of them.
On each EP, there is a bonus track, what makes it different from the others?
Well, I don’t want to stick to any rule with these bonuses. I just want to add whatever feels right on each EP. It could be an acoustic version, a remix, a cover, or a memo of the day I wrote one of the track. I think it could also be a great way of showcasing the insights, behind the scene, of my songwriting process. Welcoming people into my world a little closer by showing them how I did this or that, something more intimate sometimes.
You recently released the brilliant track ‘Bad Thing’ (my favorite) – Can you tell us a bit more about it ?
Thank you so much ! Definitely. This song is really special for me too. First because the sound is really different from what I’m used to. Like, the chorus is a flute solo, of course I never did that before aha, and it’s a little darker than usual too. But most importantly, this song talks about what I’m going through right now, with this new project of releasing music every month for a year. I’m pretty much alone all day every days, and sometimes it gets a little difficult to take a step back and be confident about what I’m doing. I’ve never felt that way before but I started to doubt and question myself : is this going to work ? is this good enough ? am I good enough ? The line « I don’t want do a bad thing » is me saying that I don’t want to lose confidence and that I’m going to keep going forward. I think we all have these voices in our heads messing up with our confidence sometimes, that’s part of the game, but we just need to ignore them.
I know that you’re supposed to love them all equally, but do you have any favorite track on your latest released?
My sister and I wrote a song together a couple weeks ago, and it’s part of the April Pack. I’m really close to my sister and doing this together has been really amazing, I love this song. I’m not singing a lot on it, my sister does, but I would say it might be my favorite for now.
If you had to pick one huge influence on the music that you’re making (not necessarily music, can be a film, a place, a book), what would it be?
I think my inspiration mainly comes from what I’m listening to. So anything and everything, as soon as I’m feeling something and as the melody makes me move. I don’t own records a lot but I do have a Spotify playlist where I’m adding dozens of songs every day. The more I listen to the more I get inspired. I really believe that any piece of art comes from a collection of other ones. People are making amazing music around the world and I want to be one of them.
How do you feel your sound has developed since your first EP?
Wow, a lot. I was producing for about 2 years when I released my first EP, wrote and produced in my bedroom too. They were the first songs that came out of my computer, so it was mostly me figuring out how to use a software. A little more acoustic too.
This period is a bit complicated for an artist. How is it writing / creating while being confined?
As I said, I’m kind of used to it. For the last couple of years, I learned to work alone, from home and I don’t go out that often anyway. I also feel very lucky to be in my parent’s house and not in a small apartment in Paris right now. I believe that it is much more difficult for other people.
You’ve remained as an independent artist, why is that important to you? What advice would you give to someone who wants to take the independent route?
Being independent is new for me. I signed a deal with Polydor – Universal Music when I was 19, and had a producer by my side as well. A few months ago, at 23, I decided to leave my producer and my label to stay independent. There is no right or wrong, being in a label could really be amazing only if people care for you and respect your artistic vision. Developing artists in France inside of a big label is really difficult. I felt like people weren’t trying to find new ways of promoting young artists. They used the old methods of trying to get me played on radios and that was it. But today, the streaming is important; social networks, new platforms like tiktok, and big compagnies don’t always have time to build something from scratch. That’s why I decided to leave, to try new things, new ways of promoting and releasing music. I’m not releasing any album this year but a big playlist of 24 songs. I don’t think they would have let me do that if I stayed aha.
My advice would be that being independent doesn’t mean being alone. It’s actually kind of like being an entrepreneur. We have an idea, and we want people to listen to it, so we have to build a team of people to make it happen. You can’t be doing every job, some people are better than you.
If you could work with any artists or producers in the future, who would they be and why?
I would say Silk City (Diplo & Mark Ronson). These producers influenced me so much lately, and I’m always impressed of their collaborations, individually and collectively. I feel like they’re trying so many different things that I would love to be in a session with them. Could learn a lot.
What’s the next step for you as an artist? Is there anything you really want to do?
Definitely going on tour. Making songs is great but playing them live feels like the reward for me. I played a lot for the past year and I took a break for this project, but I’m craving to go back on tour. Hopefully, I’ll gather as many people as possible aha.
To end, what can you add to promote your new songs ?
Only that I sincerely love them so much. I spent hours and hours in my tiny bedroom perfecting the sounds, trying to get better and better. I’m really proud of these next songs, I just hope that people will feel something, that’s what it is all about.
Oh and if people want to have a chat with me, here’s my insta : @oscarantonmusic . Thank you TEEZ and see you next time ! 😉